Leading Constitutional Scholar

Garvey Named as Law School's Next Dean

By Jack Dunn
Director of Public Affairs

Boston College has selected John H. Garvey, a professor at the University of Notre Dame Law School and a nationally renowned expert in constitutional law, to be the next dean of the Law School, effective July 1. Garvey will succeed James Rogers, who has served as acting dean since 1998.

In announcing the selection, Boston College President William P. Leahy, SJ, praised Garvey as a person of integrity and compassion who possesses the vision to direct BC Law into the new millennium.

"John Garvey is a widely acclaimed scholar and an accomplished teacher who cares deeply about the important role that law plays in American society," said Fr. Leahy. "He distinguished himself at Notre Dame, both in the classroom and through his solid track record as chair of the faculty appointments committee in helping to diversify the Notre Dame Law faculty. He is also well known for his commitment to a legal education that integrates classroom instruction with clinical experience and social justice. I know John Garvey will relate well with the students, faculty and alumni of BC Law, and that he will be an excellent dean. We are delighted to have him join us."

Garvey has served as law professor at Notre Dame since 1994. Prior to his appointment, he served for 14 years as a law professor at University of Kentucky College of Law. He also served as a visiting professor at University of Michigan Law School.

John H. Garvey.

A 1970 graduate of Notre Dame, he received his law degree ( cum laude ) from Harvard Law School in 1974. During his career, he has been honored with several awards, including a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and a Danforth Fellowship at Harvard University. He won the Duncan Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence at the University of Kentucky, and was elected to the American Law Institute at age 34.

In addition, Garvey has served as chair of the Constitutional Law Section of the Association of American Law Schools. He currently serves as co-chair of the AALS Religion Law Section and is a member of the Advisory Council of the Irving R. Kaufman Public Service Fellowship Program at Harvard. He is also a member of the American Bar Association's Reading Committee.

A widely published legal scholar, Garvey is the author of the book, What Are Freedoms For? and co-author of the soon to be released book, Religion and the Constitution. He has also published book chapters, articles and book reviews in dozens of law reviews throughout the United States.

Garvey is a distinguished attorney who has argued several prominent cases before the United States Supreme Court, including Karen Silkwood v. Kerr-McGee Corp., and Heckler v. Campbell, which addressed disability regulation within the Social Security Administration. He has also briefed more than 20 cases before the Supreme Court, including Mueller v. Allen, which addressed the issue of aid to parochial schools.

"I am honored to accept Boston College's offer to serve as dean of its law school," said Garvey. "BC Law is a place for serious scholarship that also cares about educating the whole person. The BC Law faculty are committed to their students and dedicated to both scholarship and social justice. As a person who has fought on behalf of social justice throughout my career, it will be a pleasure to become a part of the BC Law community."

Former colleagues from across the country offered praised for Garvey's appointment as law dean at Boston College.

"It is clear that John Garvey is one of the two or three most important law and religion scholars in the United States,'' said Fred Schauer of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. "He is a constitutional and political theorist of the highest order. He is also an open-minded, cutting-edge academic in the best tradition. John is simply a terrific person; it is impossible not to like him."

Added Rutherford B. Campbell, the former dean and a present faculty member of the University of Kentucky College of Law, "John Garvey is one of the brightest and most decent people I have met in this profession. The two qualities that you need to be successful as dean are to be bright and decent; John has them both. I congratulate Boston College for securing him."

Garvey was also praised by colleagues at South Bend who had worked closely with him over the past four years.

"John Garvey is an exceptional leader, teacher and person," said John Blakey, the William & Dorothy O'Neill Professor of Law at Notre Dame. "We have no one to replace him."

Garvey is originally from Sharon, Pa. where he was raised in a family of eight children. He and his wife Jeane Walter Garvey are the parents of five children.

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